Four people dead after Netanya explosion

A ZAKA volunteer rescues a Torah scroll from the damaged building

A ZAKA volunteer rescues a Torah scroll from the damaged building

Four people have been killed and around 50 people have been injured after an explosion in Netanya.

According to police the blast, late on Thursday evening, was caused by a gas leak in the city's main Independence Square. However foul play has not been ruled out.

The explosion caused the collapse of a four storey building, including a room used as a synagogue. Three young girls and a man from the nearby Wadi Ara town were named as those killed.

Israel Goldberg, a volunteer for emergency rescue organisation ZAKA, said that when they arrived on the scene there was a strong smell of gas and dozens of people in need of medical attention.

Haim Outmezgine, commander of the ZAKA Special Units, said the scene was "reminiscent of a major terror attack" because of the level of damage.

Emergency workers were still at the scene on Friday morning.

    Last updated: 4:29pm, June 17 2011